Ballinderry Parish in the Diocese of Connor headed to Castlewellan Castle from 8th-10th February, 2019 for the 24th annual Ballinderry Parish Weekend.
Many of the parents who attended with their children were the toddlers and children themselves when the Parish Weekend was first held in 1995!
The parish has been going to Castlewellan Castle for more than 10 years, and prior to that travelled to Castle Erin, Portrush, for the event.
The weekend is a time of fun and fellowship which is also enjoyed by ‘day-trippers’ who join the rest of the group on the Saturday.
In total there were 40 people who stayed the whole weekend, including 14 children from the age of 2-10 and six babies under the age of one. Thirty more parishioners joined the group for the Saturday only.
This year’s speaker was the Rev Andrew Forster from St Anne’s Parish, Dungannon. He gave a series of talks about the ‘Good News’ of the Gospel.
A team led by Christine Hughes, Shankill Parish, Lurgan, organised a children’s programme during the adult talks, and the children enjoyed singing and playing games as well as learning about some of the miracles Jesus performed.
The children (and a few adults) enjoyed dressing up in fancy dress for the fun and games on the Saturday night.
Earlier that afternoon there was free time for activities including walks in the forest park or Newcastle beach. There was also canoeing and fishing on the lake, golf, mountaineering or fun in the games room.
On Sunday there was a Family Service before the annual walk to the Peace Maze in the Forest Park. The parish music group led the worship throughout the weekend.